The Latest TikTok Trend? Abstinence.
Choosing to abstain or not from sexual relationships all boils down to personal choice and what you feel most comfortable with. On TikTok, some Gen Z’ers are celebrating abstinence and documented the benefits of their experence . From a way of practicing self-care to avoiding toxic situationships, some Gen Z-ers are making the decision to remain abstinent from sex independently of any religious belief.
Known as #CelibacyTikTok, users of TikTok have come together to create a mini online community through a hashtag to uplift one another in support of their abstinence journey. “The first time I was celibate, I did it for five months. And in those five months, I discovered I was repeating the same pattern as my mom that I witnessed growing up,” TikTok creator Jordan Jeppe said in a video. “Once I discovered that pattern, I thought I was ready to be intimate again.”
Jeppe further explained how being abstinent has helped her better understand her own boundaries in order to build healthier relationships. “I went celibate again for eight months, and that’s when I created my list of non-negotiables. This act of self boundaries, was my guideline to know when I was ready to say yes again,” she added.
Young American adults between the ages of 18 and 23 are having 14 percent less “casual sex” than those of the same age group a decade beforehand, according to a 2021 study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University and the University at Albany.
“I think sex is a bit like booze – there was once a sort of glamour in excess,” Chloe Combi, author of Generation Z: Their Voices, Their Lives, told Vice. “But as we’ve become more spartan and more anti-excess, I think Gen Z’s attitudes to sex have been subsumed into that mindset that actually there’s something very respectable in saying no, whether for more personal or bigger reasons like growth or spirituality.”
For Combi, this trend is reflective of a generation that is more accepting of others’ sexual orientations. “Sex for young people is definitely not labelled,” she added. “They place themselves far more on many spectrums – how sexual they are, who they have sex with, gender identity etc – rather than getting too hung up.”
On TikTok, some users have claimed that celibacy brings them health benefits beyond wellbeing – a claim that was debunked by Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, an OB-GYN and medical advisor to The Body Agency. “There are no medical benefits [to celibacy] other than the 100% guarantee that you will not get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted infection,” she told Cosmopolitan.
Photo Credit: Getty Images